Carlisle Wrestling Club and a Points Night with a difference

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Carlisle Wrestling Club had a Points Night with a difference this week, when a mini-bus load of wrestlers travelled over from Rothbury Academy in Northumberland to compete. They are a big and beefy lot the Northumbrians so all except Jacob Wragg had to wait for the All Weights before they could take hold.

Andrew Carlile (front) wrestles John HarringtonNathan Birdsall grounds Joe Harrington Joe Harrington buttocks James Oliver

Wragg is a neat and clever wrestler, but he was up against it in the 11½ stones. Carlisle had three champions in the group. One of the best bouts of the night was when Wragg and Craig Naylor went hammer and tongs in a sustained bout before Naylor put in the last twist.

Best of all, though was 11st Champion Richard Dixon who was in great form. A spectacular buttock flattened Andrew Carlile, his main opposition in the round-robin event, where each wrestler meets every other wrestler in the group. In the 13 stones Dixon continued his immaculate progress, felling all the others, John Harrington included.

The All Weights round-robin was one of the biggest I have organised at the club since the seventies. With three wrestlers weighing in at over 16 stones, it was no place for the faint-hearted. Jack Ewart of Westward thrived in the intense atmosphere, as he took exciting falls against the likes of John Harrington, Nathan Birdsall, and James Oliver as well as keeping the lightweights in place. In the end, he and Joe Harrington of Kirkbampton were equal with seven falls to their names, so had to wrestle off for Second place.

So, who won? Rothbury coach, Jason Davidson, wrestled cannily throughout, taking his time, but striking hard when he saw a chance. By far the oldest wrestler in the field, he went though the night unbeaten.

The Rothbury contingent had an extra reason to be in Carlisle , for when the action finished, the mats were cleared and replaced by a circle of chairs, for a meeting about the European Championships of the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling. As a result of that meeting, Darren Whitfield and Jason Davidson will be coaching the Rothbury lads in the Gouren style, as will Andrew Carlile and Alan Jones at the Carlisle club. Every fortnight, on a Sunday, all the wrestlers will join together for a plenary training session. The first of these will be at Rothbury at 2pm on Sunday 8th February. Anyone wishing to take part will be welcome. Transport will be shared from Carlisle .

A stalwart of wrestling in West Cumbria has died aged 84 years. David Smith was one of those who both wrestled and organised. In the old academy days he was secretary for the Gosforth Academy , and 'for donkey's years' he has been secretary of Wasdale Head Show.


Carlisle Wrestling Club Points Night

11½st 1, R Dixon ; 2, A Carlile; 3, C Naylor; 4, J Wragg.

13st 1, R Dixon ; 2, John Harrington; 3, A Carlile; 4, C Naylor.

All Weights 1, J Davidson; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, A Ord; 4, N Birdsall

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (February 10th 2011)

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